- Winter ready (Alaska is on the wishlist)
- Summer ready (no air-conditioning)
- Good moisture evacuation (damp clothes and gear)
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This is a very frustrating topic… As opposed to most decisions we faced during the planning process, it seems that there is no real consensus about insulation. You can read about it for days and not be able to make up your mind! There is no perfect solution…
Material that retain moisture will lead to corrosion/mold issues in the long term. Some people will sandwich their isolation in between the van panels & a vapor barrier. The idea is to block moisture from getting into the insulation materials. However, this way, the insulating material is sandwiched between two vapor barriers… if moisture find its way in (and it most likely will), there is no escape for that moisture out.
So what now? Let’s look at different material:
- Best R value of all
- Protect sheet metal from humidity (corrosion)
- Messy to apply
- Poor sound insulation
- Will lead to panel deformation if applied in thick layer
- Light weight
- Very good sound insulation
- Easy to apply
- Hydrophobic (do not absorb humidity)
- Average R value
- Good R value
- Hydrophillic (absorb humidity)
There is two obvious options here:
1- Gasoline Heater
Both Webasto & Espar offer a gasoline version of their heater. The Espar B1LC (7500BTU) is in the 1700$ US, so it’s a no go. The Webasto AirTop 2000 STC (Gasoline version) is about 1100$ US which is very expensive but has many pros: it is fueled from the main vehicule tank, fuel consumption is low (0.06 gal/h), electricity consumption is o.k. (1.5amp) & no humidity is results from combustion (as opposed to propane).
2- Propane Heater
Propex offer a very good propane external heater, the HS2211. Being an external heater, the humidity resulting from propane combustion is evacuated outside which is a big plus. At 980$ CDN, it is much cheaper than the gasoline counterparts, however, propane is more difficult to find than gasoline, more expensive and you have to carry a propane tank.
The first obvious role of ventilation is heat control. Ventilation is also crucial for moisture evacuation; cooking, drying clothes and human beings generate a lot of water. If not properly evacuated, it could lead to corrosion issues in the long run and is also simply not comfortable. There are many manufacturers out there, but it seems that Fantastic and Maxxair are popular choices among the community. The Fantastic 3350 is low profile and comes with a rain sensor so the trap will shut automatically when it detects rain. By its design, the Maxxair Deluxe can be left opened when raining & when driving; it is also stronger due to the two arms that hold the trap opened (as opposed to only one arm for the Fantastic). For these reasons we will opt for the Maxxair Deluxe.